Thursday, March 26, 2009

March goodness

We've made it to the garden every day this week, even in a light spring rain.  Along the way yesterday we stopped to ask a neighbor about a pruned stand of bamboo, and they offered up as much as we'd like - so here is D, happily carrying a few pieces along the bikepath to the garden. He's using it to reinforce the fence, and create a fixing place for the vining plants.

The neighbors (really nice people, by the way, who happen to have a couple of hives in their woods, and an old boxcar behind their house!) also mentioned that a rain like yesterday's often precedes the march of the salamanders from their yard over to the watery ditch that follows the path.  I thought about going for a walk with a flashlight last night to have a look, but didn't make it.
The girls and I have been playing Wildcraft, and learning a bit about the medicinal uses of some of the plants in our yard, and as a result, we are totally in awe of the dandelion, which proves useful for so many things ("more nutritious than anything you can buy", according to Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants in Wild (and not so wild) Places; acts as a mild diuretic and improves kidney function; good digestive aid; soothes bee stings and blisters...just for starters.).   I picked some of the new leaves from those growing in our yard (as far away from the dog-travelled sidewalk and the surrounding grass as possible!) and added them to a delicious quesadilla for supper, along with locally made goat cheese from the market (and my ubiquitous sweet potatoes, of course). Eaten along with leftover white bean soup, it was YUM.
Thursdays are often an "unwind" day for the girls and for me - the beginning of the week is very busy, and Wednesdays are coop days, and by Thursday we want to stay put.  Inevitably it is also the day when the girls want to watch a long movie, and I am still so unresolved about the amount of movie watching we and they do, so from time to time it is a struggle to negotiate and organize our day around things I feel are better for them to be doing, and doing what they want to be doing.  Today E and I struggled with my wanting her to work a bit more on her piano (we slacked during the houseguests-and-stomach-flu period and have some catching up to do), and ended up needing some space from each other.  I suggested she go and draw to calm herself down while I folded some laundry, and sure enough, she went and angrily drew a picture of me, looking dumb and lifeless with a big X over it.  She gave it to me and I sort of tossed it aside, needing my own time to calm down.  Well...during the next 20 minutes she proceeded to putter around, gathering supplies and working on something at the kitchen table.  To be honest, I wasn't really paying attention, until she came and found me in the bedroom, putting clothes away.  She said, I was angry with you when I drew that picture, and I saw you kind of crumple it, so I decided to do something nice with it instead - I made you a kite.  GULP. Making a kite is something she did in one of her recent coop classes, where they've been talking about spring, water, clouds, and wind, but this one she figured out how to make all by herself. I was humbled and impressed and we tried it out when the rain stopped, and it even works.  (If you look closely, you can see part of the drawing through the paper!)


Kerry said...

Inspired by what you say about dandelions (and remembering that they were for sale last summer at the farmers market) I went into the back yard to find some. There was only one (because the back yard is mostly just mud) and it was not a pretty sight. I'll wait until I can find some healthy looking ones, then toss them in a salad.

Stacy (mama-om) said...

Oh, how I can relate to the kite story. I sometimes remind myself to be grateful that my child calls me on my inappropriateness rather than just sucking it up. You know?

Also, I want to hear more about your coop (either on your blog or in email) -- how many families? What ages? How do you decide on subject/timing, etc.?